Earth Day History

In 1969, a massive oil spill occurred in Santa Barbara. It was one of the largest spills in U.S. waters at the time and is still only third behind the 2010 Deepwater Horizon and 1989 Exxon Valdez spills. A U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, visited the spill site and was inspired to establish the first national Earth Day on April 22, 1970. The first Earth Day saw 20 million Americans take to the streets and parks to express support for the environment. Public support for efforts to improve the environment led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. Since then, Earth Day has grown to global proportions and has continued to evolve with our understanding of environmental issues. Read more about Earth Day’s history at the Earth Day Network website.

Earth Day is officially April 22 every year, and the month of April is considered Earth Month.  See Tips for Clean Air for what you can do for our planet.

Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival 2017

Presented by the Community Environmental Council

When: Saturday, April 22 (11:00am-7:00pm) and Sunday, April 23 (11:00am-6:00pm)

Where: Alameda Park in Santa Barbara

What: Booths, food, displays, kids activities, green car show, live music

The District will have a booth at the festival. We will be a stop on the kids passport route with our Wheel of Change activity, and we will also be the Car Free check-in, with great prizes from our Santa Barbara Car Free partners. See the video below for all of the ways to get to Earth Day Car Free; for more information, visit Santa Barbara Car Free. For all of the details on the event, visit

See News from Santa Barbara Earth Day 2016 with pictures and statistics!

Santa Barbara County Earth Day Events 2017

Santa Maria Earth Day Celebration

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 11:00am-4:00pm

Where: Natural History Museum, Santa Maria

For more info, visit Santa Maria Earth Day Celebration

Santa Ynez Valley Earth Day

When: Saturday May 21, 2017, 2016, 12:00pm-5:00pm

Where: River View Park, Buellton

For more info, visit Santa Ynez Valley Earth Day

Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival 2015
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